Art History

Week in Review – 27 August

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tumblr_inline_otz2m6og971uxtbbs_1280.jpgHatfield Family Bible, Case folio BS185 1838.N4, Newberry Library

A round up of CFPs, conferences, and posts from the last week (…or so).

First up: a bit of self promo. There’s still a little while left before the deadline for our call for articles for the special issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender StudiesMaking Masculinity: Craft, Gender, and Material Production in the Long Nineteenth Century. We’d love to see articles from you! The full CFA is available here.

Similarly, Cole Collins and I are really excited to read your collage-related abstracts for our upcoming conference Collage, Montage, Assemblage: Collected and Composite Forms, 1700-Present. The CFP is available here, and we even wrote a post on our favourite scholarly works on collage here.

Next, this post from the Newberry’s blog, The Rite Stuff, examining ‘Family History in a Bible’. I really enjoy the object biography approach taken to the object.

The programmes for the Enlightened Princesses conference, the vcologies 2 working group annual meeting, and the Alma-Tadema: Antiquity at Home and on Screen conference

CFPs that caught my eye this week included:

CFP – Passing: Fashion in American Cities

CFP – Interior Provocations – Interiors without Architecture

CFP – Making Things Modular

CFP – Fire and Water: Entangled Histories of Empire and Science in the Early Modern Americas

CFP – Remarkable Things: The Agency of Objecthood and The Power of Materiality

CFP – Creative Pedagogies: Approaches to the Commonplace Book

CFP – C19: Acts of Consumption: Performance, Bodies, Culture

CFP – Crafting an Enlightened World: Patronage & Pioneers

Today marks the beginning of my last week of my Short-Term Research Fellowship at the Winterthur Museum, so once the craziness of the summer has passed, I’ll be back to regular Week in Review posts, so watch this space!

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BSECS Criticks Review – Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

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My review of the National Museum of Scotland’s Summer exhibition Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites is now up on the BSECS Criticks site. Read it here.

Sibylline Leaves – some (vague) post-conference thoughts

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Last week I was in London for the excellent Sibylline Leaves: Chaos and Compilation in the Romantic Period conference. In this post, I’ll try to cobble together some coherent thoughts generated by the event, particularly in terms of how the ideas raised relate to my own work on collage in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The conference marks the bicentenary of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry collection Sibylline Leaves, whose title references Virgil’s Cumaean Sibyl, and the ‘fragmentary and widely scattered state’ of her ‘leaves’. Indeed, the entire conference teemed with scattered, flying, volatile and fugitive leaves, and presented a range of approaches and ideas as to their interpretation.

Beginning with Seamus Perry’s keynote on Coleridge’s desultory nature (in terms of both his indolence and his variousness), the conference’s deep consideration of the language we use to discuss this material was incredibly evocative. Various terms were repeatedly mapped out, tested, and explored, but desultory was one to which a number of speakers returned. Likewise, Coleridge’s own play with words was also highlighted, particularly the irony in titling a collection of collected poems ‘Sibylline Leaves’, given that the Sibyll’s own leaves were never collected up again. Here then, the desultory might work as part of a self-conscious, self-reflexive consideration of the fragmented and the various.

Other panels over the two days explicitly engaged with the practices of notebook making and commonplacing, literary processes that my own work on collage also touches upon. Ruth Abbott, for example, presented fascinating work on Wordsworth’s notebooks, stressing the importance of reading such objects as whole, creative documents; whilst stressing the familial and collective nature of their production; and considering transformations of poetry, to prose, and back again.

The conference also had a ‘reading group’ type session in the middle of its first day, where we discussed Michael Gamer’s work on self-collecting in the creation of works like the Sibylline Leaves. Interestingly, Gamer employs frameworks from the history of collecting in his discussion, something I wish to adopt/adapt in my own work on literary self-fashioning and production.

Other papers stressed the materiality of Romantic literary production, from Jeremy Elprin’s wonderfully rich paper on Coleridge’s ‘Sonnet in nubibus’, which highlighted how Coleridge had transcribed the poem on a piece of seaweed, to Deidre Shauna Lynch’s magisterial second-day keynote, ‘Loose Leaves, Floral Slips and the Romantic Book’. Lynch’s keynote was particularly interesting for me as she discussed many of the objects that I have just been looking at at YCBA, and other volumes that I’m intending to see at Manchester, New York, and the Houghton Library in the future. What I was particularly struck by in Lynch’s paper however, was her emphasis on not merely the compilation of such volumes, but their related disentanglement: ranging from the moment of their acquisition (i.e. before their integration within the album/volume/book); ideas surrounding their ‘clippability’; or the potential of these gathered leaves to become loose once more. This was a revolution in my thinking, as my definition for collage in my postdoctoral project has been almost wholly concerned with the coming together of objects to make a new whole; disparate elements, brought together in a new formulation. Yet Lynch’s paper highlighted that these were indeed ‘Sibylline Leaves’, papers that behaved badly, and whose very precarity was actively reflected upon and visually acknowledged by their makers.

I presented my own research on the commonplace books of Ellen Warter at the end of the first day of the conference (my abstract is available here), and received some very provocative and encouraging feedback. I’m excited to use some of the frameworks I encountered at the event in developing this research further, particularly Lynch’s emphasis on the highly self-aware nature of the Romantic album.

Book Review: Literary Bric-à-Brac and the Victorians: From Commodities to Oddities – Nineteenth-Century Studies

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My review of Jonathon Shears and Jen Harrison’s edited volume Literary Bric-à-Brac and the Victorians: From Commodities to Oddities is now up on Nineteenth-Century Studies’ online forum, as part of a series of reviews of books on nineteenth-century materialities. See it here.

Award – Harry Ransom Center Short Term Research Fellowship in the Humanities

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I’m thrilled to have been awarded a Harry Ransom Center Short Term Research Fellowship in the Humanities to conduct research on my postdoctoral research project on collage before modernism. The Harry Ransom Center has a wealth of collections relevant to the project, including the infamous (but rather unstudied) Durenstein! Blood Book, created by John Bingley Garland in 1854 and given to his daughter shortly after. The ‘Blood Book’ is just one object I’ll be looking at during my month-long research fellowship at the Center, which I’ll be taking in 2018.

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Week in Review – 19 March

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33005859916_69ac826dc4_b.jpgRobert Dighton, The Macaroni Painter, or Billy Dimple sitting for his Picture, 1772. British Museum, London.

First up, Dominic Janes’ post, ‘A Queer Taste for Macaroni‘, on the Public Domain Review. I recently had an article accepted for a special issue of Aphra Behn Online: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830 that explores the concept of “camp” with regards to eighteenth-century studies. My article will locate macaronism within a visual and ironic rhetoric of campness, and Janes’ new book Oscar Wilde Prefigured: Queer Fashioning and British Caricature, 1750-1900 is an essential resource for this work. 

Secondly, I was hugely excited to read about the National Gallery of Victoria’s upcoming exhibition Love: Art of Emotion 1400–1800, which draws upon the NGV’s diverse permanent collection to explore the theme of love in art, and the changing representations of this complex emotion throughout the early modern period in Europe.

I also enjoyed reading this review of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge’s exhibition Madonnas and Miracles: The Holy Home in Renaissance Italy, which the role of domestic objects in sustaining and inspiring faith.

I was also intrigued to read: this post from Notches Blog on ‘Porno Chic and the Sex Wars: A Roundtable on the Politics of Sexual Representations in the 1970s‘; and this fascinating article on the spiritualist artist Hima af Klint.

I’ve got several multi-media picks this week: first, this episode of The Why Factor on using our hands; this episode of the Art Detective Podcast on Tipu’s Tiger – with Sona Datta; and finally, this video of Mary Beard’s lecture, Women in Power.

The following CFPs and conferences also caught my attention this week:

CFP: Fashion, Dress, and Post-Postmodernism (September 20, 2017)

CFP: Vistas. 19th Century Studies (Philadelphia, 15-17 Mar 18)

CONF: Rejection & Recovery in the History of Art & Architecture (Boston, 24-25 Mar 17)

CFP: Early Netherlandish Art in the Long 19th Century (Ghent, 24 – 26 May 18)

CFP: Art of Power: The 3rd Earl of Bute, Politics and Collecting in Enlightenment Britain (2nd Oct 2017 – 4th Oct 2017)

WORKSHOP: Approaching Inner Lives: Thinking, Feeling, Believing, 1300-1900 (Tuesday 28 March 2017)

Week in Review – 5 March

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Zoffany.jpgQueen Charlotte (detail; 1771), Johan Joseph Zoffany. Royal Collection Trust, UK. 

First up this week, this Apollo Magazine review of Yale Centre for British Art‘s exhibition Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte and the Shaping of the Modern World, which runs until April 30th (frustratingly, just one day before I arrive there as a visiting scholar!).

Secondly, I read Alice Kelly’s articleHow to make writing in the humanities less lonely‘, which discusses TORCH’s writing group with interest, as the group was a crucial source of inspiration for our own version in Edinburgh.

I thoroughly enjoyed this post from the National Museum of Scotland on Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament, which is an important object within the museum’s newly curated art and design galleries.

The Storifys for each day of the three days of the War Through Other Stuff conference are now available here. I’ll be posting some thoughts from the conference in an upcoming blog post next week.

I was also captivated by this Victoria and Albert Museum videoGarnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses‘, which examines rare surviving examples of vase sets and ceramic ornaments from National Trust houses being displayed on furniture and in period rooms at the V&A.

I was excited to see that the special inaugural issue of the Journal of Romanticism, on Romanticism and mysticism, is now available for purchase.

Finally, I saw a reminder this week that all of the University of Cambridge Things sessions are available as podcasts online – I must catch up asap!

The following CFPs, conferences and CFAs also caught my attention this week:

CFP: Evidence of Power in the Ruler Portrait, 14th – 18th Centuries (1-2 Dec 17)

CFP: Material Histories of Time: Objects and Practices, 14th-18th centuries (La Chaux-de-Fonds, Musée international d’horlogerie, November 30 – December 1, 2017)

CFP: “Hawthorne and Things” MLA 2018

CONF: Dress and Diplomacy (Copenhagen, 22 Mar 17)

CFP: AAH Summer Symposium: Re/presenting the Body (Glasgow,
6-7 Jul 17)

CFP: Collections – Scholars – Interpretations (Tbilisi, 2-3
May 17)

CONF: Graduate Student Symposium – History of 19th-Century Art (New York, 26 Mar 17)

CFP: Special issue of Southern Cultures: Southern Things (Material Culture)

CFA: The Pre-Raphaelites and Antiquity (Special Issue Open Cultural Studies)

CFA: On Uses of Black Camp (Special Issue Open Cultural Studies)

CFA: Materiality, Objects and Objecthood (Special Issue Open Cultural Studies)